The defender was overcome with relief and joy at making last four of the World Cup with his nation.
An emotional Lisandro Martinez was in floods of tears after Argentina’s penalty shoot-out win over the Netherlands, explaining how the winning spot kick “freed” him after a gruelling night.
The defender, who had produced a goal-saving block against Australia in the last 16, started his second game of the tournament with his two other appearances coming from the bench. He saw his side lose grip on a two-goal lead during regulation time, Woug Weghorst grabbing a Dutch equaliser 11 minutes into stoppage time.
Argentina fans were put through the wringer after a goalless extra time saw the tie go to penalties. The South Americans came out on top, winning the shootout 4-3 to set up a semi-final tie with Croatia, who had beaten Brazil on spot kicks earlier in the day.
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Tensions ran high during penalties with several players booked before verbal and physical clashes between the two sets of players after the decisive kick was hammered home by Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.
United defender Lisandro Martinez was visibly drained after the celebrations, producing tears of relief and happiness during a post-game interview with DEPORTV. The 24-year-old said it would have been cruel for Argentina to exit on penalties, suggesting his side played “better” than the Netherlands.
“It was just incredible,” he said. “I just freed [when the final penalty was scored], because we didn’t deserve to end like that. We were much better than them. I want to hug everyone – the players, the coaching staff… everyone!”
Martinez was brought off in the second half of extra time but he has now won both of the matches he’s started in Qatar, and could make the line-up for Croatia as a result. If they defeat Croatia, Argentina could face England in the final if the Three Lions defeat France and get past either Morocco or Portugal in the semi-finals.